Reds legend Kenny Burns has suggested in the Nottingham Post that more sizeable investment will be required at the City Ground over the summer.

Big money was spent bolstering the ranks in 2018.

Joao Carvalho and Lewis Grabban were among those snapped up as expectation levels soared on Trentside.

In total 17 additions were made, both permanent and loan, before the end of the calendar year.

A further five fresh faces were then welcomed on board during the winter window.

That is almost an entire squad’s worth of new blood.

Forest are still working on getting their house in order, though, with a few nasty surprises having been unearthed during a costly renovation project.

Big ask

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Burns has said in the Nottingham Post of a disjointed promotion quest: “I would really like to be proved wrong and I hope we do finish in the play-offs. But hand on heart, I don’t think we will. It is a big ask.

“With the squad of players he’s got it’s going to take something special from Martin to get us into the top six, because I don’t think this squad is good enough – that’s what’s letting us down.”

Martin O’Neill claimed to be happy with the recruitment he was able to carry out in January.

Mid-season tinkering is never easy, though, especially when inheriting somebody else’s squad.

Aitor Karanka oversaw much of Forest’s structural work this season, but O’Neill has been asked to finish the job.

There is only so much he can do on the training ground and touchline, with trust having to be placed in others.

That show of faith is not being rewarded at present.

A five-point gap to the play-off places may not sound like much, but there are many other factors to be taken into consideration.

Not least a run of two wins in 10.

There are also five teams between Forest and the top six, with those at the business end of that pack and beyond boasting a game in hand.

Minor tweaks

Burns added in the Post: “It’s down to the players. They get paid a lot of money, and at the minute they are not justifying that money.

“If they are good enough, they should know what they need to do and where they need to be; they shouldn’t need Martin to tell them. He should just need to pass on a couple of tweaks.”

A couple of tweaks.

That would appear to be the blueprint for present and future.

Maybe it will take more than that to get Forest back on track.

Even minor tinkering may not deliver the required end result, both in the current campaign and the next.

If the squad really isn’t good enough, then O’Neill faces some big calls to the planning department.

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